Population registrations in the large cities in Ecuador have recently been swamped with passport applications. Since the United States announced they have an oversupply of vaccines, people have been scrambling to get on a plane to Miami to get their jab. There’s a range of makes to choose from. Johnson & Johnson is of course the most popular among tourists. Whether it’s via the newspapers, TV, TikTok, friends or colleagues, people are encouraged from all directions to book a flight and get vaccinated.
But of course, you’ll need a valid passport to do so! And that’s something that isn’t so easy to get these days. Hardly any passports have been issued since the beginning of the pandemic. The only way to apply for one is by going to your local city hall in person. Online isn’t an option. Only a limited number of applications is accepted each day. If you want to increase your chances, you camp outside the office for a night so that you’re first in the queue the next morning.
Getting the jab in Miami turned out to be an interesting idea for many people working in the flower industry too. You may as well, when you’re there for work anyway or, for example, attending the WF&FSA Floral Conference next week.
But even for all of us who can’t leave the country yet, there’s a glimmer of hope. Our new president Guillermo Lasso, who was sworn in last week, made the vaccination campaign his first priority. His goal is that at least 9 million Ecuadoreans will have had their first dose within the first 100 days of his term in office. That translates into more than 75% of all adults.
The ambitious and clever plan was presented last weekend. Everyone can look up online when and where their turn is, which is determined with the help of the same software that was used for the national elections only two months ago. The locations that served as polling stations back then, will now serve as vaccination centres. Remote regions will be served by mobile brigades.
The plan looks very smart. If the implementation goes well too, president Lasso’s first year will already be called a success. And hopefully it will go well, because here, like anywhere else, we’re all so ready for a new world. One without restrictions.
Victor van Dijk,
Area manager South America FM Group
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